Nicola Kirk: Author and Collector of Paranormal Stories and Other Strange Encounters

Archive for the ‘cryptozoology’ Category



 The Ghost of Boothill Cemetery

He’s Behind You!!! – The Ghost of Boothill Cemetery

This chap looks as if he’s having great fun dressing up as a cowboy at Boothill Cemetery, Tombstone, Arizona.  He’s looking pretty suave and sure of himself as he poses for his photo… but wait a minute.  Who is that just behind him, rising up out of the gravestone cluttered grass with what appears to be a… is that a  knife in his hand?!

I have seen this photo many times before but it still makes me shiver whenever I come across it.  The story behind this particular photo is that a chap called Terry Ike Clanton (cousin of the Clanton Gang who had some fisticuffs with the Earps and Doc Holliday at the OK Coral) took this photo of his friend during a visit to Boothill Cemetery one day. When the photo was developed Terry was somewhat perplexed to find what looked very much like a skinny man in a dark hat rising up from among the gravestones.  Of course, it could just have been someone kneeling in the tall grass looking to have a bit of fun at the photographer’s expense, but Terry insists: “I know there was no other person in this photograph when I shot it.”  And who am I to say otherwise – I wasn’t there.  Terry also believes the figure is holding a knife (shudder):

“We thought this was a tie at first, but after further review, it appears to be a knife,” Terry says. “The knife is in a vertical position; the tip is located just below the figure’s right collar. If you’re not convinced that something is weird here, look at my friend’s shadow in the photo. It appears to be going back slightly to the right of him. The figure in the back should have the same shadow, but it doesn’t!”

Boothill Cemetery certainly looks to be an amazing place to visit – it’s stuffed with people who have met all sorts of horrid ends, whether it’s being struck over the head with a poker or suicide by strychnine.  If you would like to find out more about who died and why at Boothill, you might like a look at the following website, which has more information than you can shake a skull at:

And then we have… THE NIGHT WALKERS!


I’m not sure what we’re looking at here, but apparently these strange beings were filmed in Yosemite National Park one night and no one knows quite what they are – mummy and baby Night Walker out for an evening stroll?  Or perhaps one is just further away from the camera giving it the appearance of being smaller.  Yes, I think they could possibly be computer generated too, but I often think of this video as there is something beautifully weird about the way these ‘beings’ move.  I especially love the way the smallest of the two seems to have a bit of a totter at one point before trying to catch up with the larger being again.  So, computer graphics or something stranger (giant clothes pegs out for a wander?), what do you think?  I’d love to read your thoughts in the comment section below.

And finally…

Just to finish off, here’s a nice little collection of ghost pictures from the internet to lull you to sleep at night.

A Nice Little Selection To Watch In The Small Hours

Of course, most of these photos are sure to be fake but they are still fun to look at.

But what if… what if perhaps just one of them is the real deal?

Go on, you can leave a light on tonight – I promise I won’t tell anyone…


©Nicola Kirk and 2013



Apparently They Are Still Watching You…

Morning you lot,

I wrote a while back about the strange phenomenon of the ‘black-eyed children’ – strange beings with completely black eyes who fill the people they stalk with dread.  The link can be found here for those of you who fancy a refresh on the subject:

I happened to come across the following tale whilst perusing my favourite Phantoms and Monsters email update (you can subscribe to this great font of spooky info via their website: – they send you a daily email with the latest in the world of weird and wonderful stuff.  One of the links on their site took me to the following story, which I attach below.  Who are these strange people with black eyes and what do they want?:

“My husband, and our two-year-old son and I went to a used bookstore about two hours from our house in Tucson, Arizona this last Saturday (04/23/2011.) I followed my son as we walked back into the children’s area.

She’s Coming To Get You…

He rounded the corner to the aisle with the books. I saw a girl stand, not moving, a little ways down the aisle staring in our direction. Then my husband walked up to us. As he came closer, she did as well, following behind him.

My son ran off toward a table and my husband followed. The girl walked up and got right next to me within inches, almost touching. I started to feel extremely uneasy and moved away to where my husband and son stood at the table. They were both looking down at a Mickey Mouse doll which I tried to talk to my son about.

As I was looking down, I saw movement coming up behind me out of the corner of my eye. It was the girl. I noticed her clothing looked from about the 1960s and she looked very out of place. She was also overdressed with multiple coats on in a normal temperature environment.

She walked in a circling pattern, with her head down in a predatory way, the way a panther stalks its prey. As I stared at her while, she walked slowly. I distinctly remember she did not make a sound when she moved. Which now I am thinking was odd, because she had a lot of clothing on and a bag with her.

Her eyes were all black, no whites of her eyes, no pupils. She stared coldly, devoid of emotion, and you could feel the evil radiating off of her. I remember as I made eye contact with her, I had the very distinct feeling that she was not human. I had a feeling that she was something evil in a human shell.

I felt the most amount of terror and most threatened I have ever felt. I also felt like I was the food at the bottom of the food chain and I was her next meal. I definitely had a fight-or-flight response after I was able to pull my eyes away from hers. I remember thinking I had to get away and I had to protect my family.

I tugged on my husband’s shirt and grabbed my son and started to pull them away. My husband asked why; I said we need to just go. I remember thinking it was very important that she didn’t know we were leaving because we were afraid of her. We went to the other side of the store (if we were smart we would have left immediately).

My husband walked off to electronics and my son and I stood in front of a bookshelf full of board games. There was an aisle right behind us for magazines. Then I heard a man that was leaning down toward my son say in a very low tone, “I see you… she can’t hear you, but I can.”

I didn’t turn around; I was too scared. I grabbed my son and dashed away. I now believe he was one of the black-eyed people too and they were there together. I went to the car with my son and just felt this heaviness of evil that almost felt like it had stuck to me until I went to bed that night.”


Please leave your thoughts and comments below…



Sinister Shadows And Terrifying Mists – Meet The Darker Side Of North Weald And Ongar…

If you go down to the woods today…

John of North Weald has written to me about two local strange experiences and he has kindly given me permission to share them here:

“Seeing your letter in the North Weald Village Life Newsletter, I thought you may be interested in the following two tales. The first is my own experience and the second that of a lady, now passed on, who lived in Pensons Lane, Ongar.

First, whilst out walking one day last spring/summer over by the old radio station on North Weald Common, I stopped at Seven Springs where I stopped to enjoy the view of the lake surrounded by trees in leaf in the sunshine.  I became aware of a shadow or dark patch in front of me but at an angle to my left. To my surprise, and apprehension, it moved slowly in my general direction and passed about three or four yards to my left where it drifted over the bridleway and disappeared. It had little shape and no legs and just floated above the ground.

The Old Radio Station, North Weald, that John passed on the way to Seven Springs

Regarding the second experience, the lady referred to was a keen horse rider. On two separate occasions when riding with a companion in Pensons Lane the horses bolted when frightened by a swirling mist-like substance. She was quite convinced they had seen a ghost.”

What is it that lurks in Pensons Lane, Ongar?

If you have had any strange experiences, please feel free to send them to me at


©Nicola Kirk and 2010

No Rest For The Wicked – Graveyard Guardians

Many people are frightened of graveyards, it’s only natural, but is it the sight of all those headstones and tombs that makes you uneasy or… is there something else watching you?

It might take a bit of time but if you can hunt down the first grave in a cemetery you might just get to meet the Graveyard Guardian.  The legend is that the spirit of the first person laid to rest in a graveyard  remains on the earthly plane to keep an eye on comings and goings and keep the other graveyard residents safe.

Unfortunately, in times of old, some villagers were a little too impatient to wait for someone to die of natural causes and fill the role.  According to an article by Marq English in issue 45 of Paranormal Magazine (p74), ‘it is believed that the early inhabitants of Cheam (in Surrey) butchered the village simpleton by cutting his throat and allowing the blood to spill into the graveyard so his spirit would be its first Guardian’.  So if we learn nothing else today, don’t visit Cheam when they’re opening a new graveyard.

According to there is a legend that people used to be buried alive in new graveyards to create a guardian.  These guardians were known as ankou.

The ankou is also mentioned by Frenchman Anatole Le Braz, who was a collector and translator of Breton (Brittany) folklore in the 19th Century.  In his best-seller, “The Legend of Death”, Anatole writes:

The Ankou is the henchman of the Death (oberour ar maro). The last dead of the year, in each parish, becomes the Ankou of this parish for all the following year. When it has been, in a year, more death than usual, one says about the Ankou:

War ma fé, heman zo eun Anko drouk.

“On my faith, this one is a nasty Ankou.”

The Black Shuck, a strange creature whom I have written about previously, occasionally also takes on the role of graveyard guardian, although whether the shuck is the spirit of the first graveyard resident or a completely different paranormal being in its own right is unclear:

One notable story from Australia perhaps provides evidence of the persistence of the black dog legend beyond its native Europe. In Picton, NSW, there is a wonderful historical graveyard attached to the beautiful church of St Mark. Within the churchyard, the ghostly form of an enormous dog has been seen – even on one occasion chasing people out of the graveyard.”

So if you do decide to visit a graveyard, you’d better behave yourself.  You don’t know who, or what, might be watching.


©Nicola Kirk and 2010

Red Eye At Night… Devil’s Delight?

Bad guys in horror movies usually can’t hide their identities for long because the directors like to give them neon red eyeballs.  Vampires, werewolves, demonic doggies, they all get the same treatment.  But is this stereotyping?  Is there any basis for assuming all things evil should have eyes redder than a baboon’s bottom?

Whilst looking for other occurrences of evil red-eyed beings, I unearthed a story about a particularly evil statue known as Black Agnes, or Black Aggie.  An allegedly murderous statue by this name used to live in Loudon Park Cemetery, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.  Rumours that the statue harboured murderous intentions were cooked up by kids and used as part of initiation ceremonies to scare the life out of their friends.  The story went that Black Aggie’s eyes would burn bright red at night and would blind anyone who looked into them.  Other versions of the story say that part of the initiation ceremony was to sit on the statue’s lap all night, but the last person who was brave enough to take up the dare was found dead the next morning, still sitting on the statue’s lap but with marks on her body apparently from the statue’s deadly embrace.  The statue was moved twice to put an end to the rituals and ended up in the Smithsonian Institute where it was finally made teenager proof.

Another creature of the night that regularly has red eyes is the Black Shuck, a demonic dog that roams around the Norfolk and Suffolk coastlines.  Some say it is as big as a Great Dane, others that it’s as big as a horse.  The Shuck may have been the inspiration for Arthur Conan Doyle’s, The Hound of the Baskervilles.  There are confusing reports about the Shuck and its motives for making an appearance.  Some say that if you see the beast then someone close to you will die.  Other say the Shuck sometimes accompanies women travelling on their own and acts as a protector.  Personally, unless it comes with a sturdy muzzle, I’d rather take my chances alone…  Some graveyards are reputedly prowled by a Shuck but the beast also enjoys lurking down side roads, snuffling around at crossroads (popular places to bury suicides), and, of course, slinking around dark and foreboding forests.

One of my all time favourite places also comes with a resident red-eyed ghost.  Highgate Cemetery, London, is famous for its vampire stories from the early 1970s but it is not the vampire that I’m interested in here.  There is a recent report (alas, I don’t have the exact date for the report) of a pedestrian who was walking down the lane that runs through the cemetery.  I can only assume they mean Swains Lane which runs between the east and the west cemeteries.  The pedestrian reported seeing a tall apparition with glowing red eyes and wearing a long black cloak.  The apparition whispered ‘good evening, sir,’ as it glided past and disappeared through a stone wall.  Perhaps it was the vampire that allegedly haunted the cemetery in the 1970s, but I understand Sean Manchester pounded the life out of that particular entity with a hammer and stake many years ago.

Going back to the theme of beasties with red eyes, I recently came across a story posted on Phantoms and Monsters about a couple who were on their way home to Illinois.  Just south of a place called Fuller Cemetery (unfortunate name), the husband thought he saw a large bird of some description by the side of the road.  He didn’t think much of it but his wife began to scream.  He pulled over into the entrance to the cemetery to calm her down, telling her it had only been a big bird she’d seen, but apparently that wasn’t what the wife had seen at all.  She had seen a large animal running along by the side of their car – it was so big its head had come to the top of the window!  She was sure the creature she had seen was a huge bear with red eyes but the area is not known for being a home to bears and certainly not ones with red eyes.

It would seem that although most people would rather not have an encounter with some red-eyed creature of the night, not all  are deserving of an evil reputation, for example the Shuck who likes to protect lone, female travellers. Although it might be advisable not to go and annoy graveyard statues, just in case.


©Nicola Kirk and 2010

Weird World

I should start by saying that beginning this blog was not my idea – therefore if it all goes horribly wrong we can all point the Finger of Doom at my husband’s cousin, Katie.

Weird World has come about because last Sunday morning, whilst considering all things strange with possible paranormal undertones, I began wondering how many people in my little village of North Weald had had a paranormal or unexplainable experience but hadn’t documented it, for whatever reason.  Perhaps they were worried they would be laughed at, or maybe they didn’t see the point in making a detailed note of it – they would just tell their friends and family about it in hushed tones and that would be that.  Then I began to wonder how many people in the surrounding towns and counties, nay, the country (I was clearly feeling a little ambitious that morning), were keeping valuable information under their hats!  And I thought – this is terrible!  All this information is going undocumented.  I must do something about it.  And so here I am, a self titled paranormal researcher looking for tales of paranormal and general oddness with a few legends and myths thrown in for good measure.

My first problem was, how would I get people to tell me about their experiences?  I can’t just march up to people, stuff a dictaphone in their face and demand they tell me all.  It’s just not going to happen.  So I designed a few fliers to put up in various places (with permission, of course) and even found a website that produced nice looking but delightfully cheap business cards.

After boring my mother over the phone with my ideas of paranormal world domination, we decided the name Weird World just about summed up what  my project was going to be all about – bringing together tales of weirdness going on in the world in one place.

There are no strict parameters with regards to the subjects I’m interested in hearing about – ghost sightings, local legends, urban legends, UFO sightings, cryptozoology (don’t go running for the dictionary, I’ll do it for you: cryptozoology is the study of evidence tending to substantiate the existence of, or the search for, creatures whose reported existence is unproved, as the Abominable Snowman or the Loch Ness monster), experiences with Ouija boards, incredible coincidences… you get my drift.  If you have anything you would like to share, please email me at, I would be delighted to hear from you.

If I get enough information I’m planning on writing a book including some of the most interesting experiences I receive from people or places I have researched.  Fingers crossed there will be enough people out there who wish to get in touch.

I suspect the gathering of information is not going to be an easy task.  Having been into Epping and dropped into the oldest pub in the town, I was full of hopes that the landlord and staff would have numerous tales about things that pulled a pint in the night to regale me with.  Alas, when I explained what sort of information I was after, the the barmaid just gave me an incredulous look, went to find the landlord (who wouldn’t even come out of the basement to talk to me) and told me ‘he said no, probably not’.  A little depressing but not enough to stop me.

Tomorrow is another day and there are many more people out there I can pester for tales of the paranormal.


©Nicola Kirk and 2010

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